The Oilers (26-15-2) are back for only their second game in the last 10 days, as they face off against the Montreal Canadiens (19-14-9) at home in the first of two, with each team battling for further playoff stability. However, Montreal takes a 4-1 record against the Oilers into this mini series in Edmonton. The Canadiens have held Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl each to two assists, zero goals and a minus-5 rating in the season series thus far.
The Oilers lines will look like this tonight:
And Montreal will counter with:
Tatar - Danault - Anderson
Toffoli - Suzuki - Armia
Drouin - Kotkaniemi - Byron
Lehkonen - Staal - Perry
Chiarot - Weber
Edmundson - Petry
Romanov - Kulak
Let’s see how it went.
First things first, it was great to see Robert Clark out there singing the anthem.
While there have been very few shots, there have been a ton of hits. Unfortunately, Jujhar Khaira takes a shot right on the chin from Romanov and likely faces his second concussion of the season. Scary scene as Khaira tried to wobble off the ice, and Ethan Bear had to catch his teammate.
hate to see this happen to khaira. hope he's okay. pic.twitter.com/9RWkfDvNzt— zach laing (@zjlaing) April 20, 2021
A couple missed penalties on the Canadiens in the sequence after, and the vibe of this game has been pretty rough and tumble. There have been big hits from McDavid, Kassian, Draisaitl, Petry and Romanov. Kassian asked Anderson to go – the latter declined. Temperature rising.
Angry yet still smiling Zack Kassian is my favorite version of Zack Kassian pic.twitter.com/m5gMKqRvA3— Adam (@OilersAdam) April 20, 2021
McDavid catches Price down, and snipes one upstairs, but review showed no goal after Chiasson bumps into Price’s head after gliding through the crease. Still 0-0. A very engaged McDavid in this game – multiple excellent chances, multiple big hits. He’s throwing his weight around in all facets of the game. One question, how the hell have there been no penalties? Montreal has been gifted 3 or 4 obvious no-calls already.
And the first penalty goes to... Darnell Nurse, for high-sticking. While he’s being tackled by Ryan Suzuki. No damage done – Jones and Bear made a few great plays to keep it even.
Does Philip Danault know any rules of hockey? Offside, then slewfoots McDavid in a very dangerous hit.
phil danault with a late and low hit on mcdavid pic.twitter.com/bKa0lNG7ld— zach laing (@zjlaing) April 20, 2021
Oilers to the PP. Draisaitl has three incredible chances, but unable to put one home. Period ends 0-0. Shots 7-7. 33 hits. Horrible officiating.
Biggest surprise to start the period – Carey Price is not on the ice, let alone the bench. Maybe the bump from Chiasson, or shot off the collarbone from Leon.
An uneventful start to the period overall, but Eric Staal kicks one into the back of the net. 1-0 Habs now.
Following the goal, Tatar slashes the stick out of Barrie’s hand and the Oilers go back to the powerplay for the second time in this game. Edmonton struggles to get passes, shots through, and no goals scored.
An absolutely bizarre icing call, which featured Allen touching the puck, is also called. This game is confusing.
Anderson takes a LATE run at Leon Draisaitl and is met with a high stick, though collapsing to the ice like he’d been shot in the head. All bark no bite on that dog. Oilers head to the kill, and are gifted with the best chances in that two minute span. And a 2 on 0 for McDavid and Puljuljarvi...!!! No shot on goal.
McDavid needs to finish those chances if he wants to stay on Puljujarvi’s line.— NateInVegas (@NateInVegas) April 20, 2021
Byron takes a high shot on Jones on the Oilers blueline, in what I consider to be a very dirty hit, and the Oilers go back to the powerplay. Draisaitl made sure Byron knew he messed up too.
another dangerous hit: this time as paul byron clips caleb jones with a blindside hit to the head. only a minor called on the play. pic.twitter.com/31mUieBdpm— zach laing (@zjlaing) April 20, 2021
The Oilers are able to get a few chances, but an obvious missed trip on McDavid who tried to drive the net and got a hard stick to the feet. Still 1-0 Canadiens, but again, HORRIBLE officiating. Tim Peel was no one-off situation.
Edmonton starts the third with a powerplay, after Tyler Toffoli gets tagged with a cross check after time expired in the second period. Montreal avoids danger and the score remains the same. Oiler 0 for 4 on the powerplay.
New Oilers D pairs in third:
Nygard certainly gets a lot of high quality looks, but usually can’t even get a shot on net. Why is he better than Tyler Ennis?
The Oilers continue to press, but Jake Allen has been up to the task thus far. He’s stood on his head in two periods of relief for Price.
The officials have let everything go in this period so far... even hits on goalies. No one is safe out there. Trips every other shift. Late hits every shift.
The Oilers FINALLY break through, and Connor McDavid finds Ethan Bear sneaking in from the point and he one times a shot top shelf. 1-1 game. The boys are fired up. Bear might be the second best player on the ice tonight. Bear snaps a 48-game goalless drought in the process.
The Oilers continue to press, and scoring chances in the third are 11-0 for Edmonton with a few near misses. Allen has been great.
After a huge hit by Puljuljarvi, McDavid takes a loose puck from his own zone and beats two Montreal defenders to roof one past Allen. There are honestly no words for how exciting this period has been or how amazing that goal was. 2-1 Edmonton. Wow wow wow.
And the icing on the cake, as McDavid springs JP on a breakaway and Puljuljarvi BURIES. 3-1. Three goals in less than seven minutes.
Connor McDavid springs Jesse Puljujarvi to add to the Oilers lead.— Shayna (@hayyyshayyy) April 20, 2021
Game. Changer. pic.twitter.com/8CoP2xWbdn
Devin Shore pots an empty netter from Yamamoto afterwards to ice the game. 4-1 game. What an exciting, important win for this Oilers team.
Like clockwork, #Oilers Connor McDavid has 2 points tonight— Sportsnet Stats (@SNstats) April 20, 2021
His 2.00 Points/Game at home this season would be the most since Jaromir Jagr (2.02) & Mario Lemieux (2.60) in 1995-96
Here’s how we’re doing and what’s coming next:
The #LetsGoOilers are 27-15-2#Oilers vs:#LeafsForever 3-5-1 (done)#GoJetsGo 5-2-0 (2 left)#GoHabsGo 2-3-1 (3 left)#CofRed 5-3-0 (2 left)#Canucks 3-2-0 (5 left)#GoSensGo 9-0-0 (done)— Paul Almeida (@AzorcanGlobal) April 20, 2021
Apr. 21 - vs MTL
Apr. 26, 28 - @ WPG
Apr. 29, May 1 - vs CGY pic.twitter.com/YQvjoo8JS0